Reviews of 'Disposing of the Body'    

Reviews of 'Bouncers' & 'Shakers'

Review by Ann Key-Huckerby, NODA

 

Having seen Bouncers several times previously, I have to say I found this production was quite startling in its stridency. The four young men involved were Rob Callaby (Les), Rob Nicholls (Judd), Troy Melvin (Ralph) and Tom Millard (Lucky Eric) and I admired the zest with which they performed the play. Extremely well choreographed, their rapid changes of character were many. In particular I enjoyed Lucky Eric’s thoughtful speeches which were a quiet lull amid all the shouting.

 

Shakers featured four young ladies; Amanda Fisher (Nicky), Jane Webb (Carol), Gemma Page (Adele) and Suzanne Webb as Mel. Here each character revealed her innermost hopes and fears. Each had personal pressures looming large in their lives. The girls moved easily from one persona to another readily achieving (and maintaining) changes in dialect and altering the atmosphere rapidly.

 

The sets for both these plays were excellent; a credit to those responsible for their construction and decoration with props that were well chosen. The familiar tunes and judicious use of lighting added much to the success of the productions which found great favour with the audience. Well done.

Review by Trish Burgess

 

A double-bill at Spalding's South Holland Centre this week is one not to miss. Local amateur group, St Nicolas Players, have brought the 1980s back to life with Bouncers by John Godber andShakers Re-stirred by John Godber and Jane Thornton.

I first saw Bouncers many years ago when the Hull Truck Theatre company was touring with this iconic play about four doormen policing a seedy club, Mr Cinders. St Nics version of the play had the same pace and energy, the four actors switching between a whole myriad of characters: the lads out on the pull, the girls desperate to be noticed, the Hooray Henrys knocking back the champagne. As drink takes a hold, facades peel away to reveal inadequacies, aggression, sadness and, ultimately, violence.

Lucky Eric, played with great skill by Tom Millard, punctuated the events of the evening with his speeches which highlighted the tawdry, grubby underside of life as seen by a bouncer. Judd (Rob Nicholls) was picked on by his colleagues for being a brute with no brain; as a woman he was the sad, sweating friend who was aching to be noticed and loved. Troy Melvin, playing Ralph, the lynch pin of the four bouncers, also shone as the cheesy, oily DJ in the club. Rob Callaby moved effortlessly between his different aliases and made a very believable young girl, clutching her handbag for comfort as the events of the night unfolded.

After the interval, the scene changed to a trendy cocktail bar for Shakers. Written to be played out at a slightly less frenetic pace than Bouncers, this comedy allows for more pathos and character development. The four actresses excelled at moving the audience with their delivery: measured, unhurried, breathtaking. It was difficult to believe this was the second night of a four night run rather than a performance that has been touring for m onths: these four girls were completely in tune with one another.

Carol, the more mature, educated waitress longing to be a photographer, was played so naturally by Jane Webb that the script just seemed like normal conversation; superb, believable acting. Acid-tongued Mel (Suzanne Webb) kept up the facade until just at the end when her soliloquy held the audience spell-bound. Suzanne and Jane, I have to say, made remarkably good men, sitting astride the bar-stools, braying and guffawing very reminiscent of French and Saunders. 

Amanda Fisher was a warm, engaging Nicky, about to embark on a career as a dancer on a rather dubious-sounding cruise ship. She also played the young Liverpudlian checkout girl, queuing up to try clothes on in Top Shop for her 21st birthday party celebrations, with great humour and wit. 

I was convinced at one point that Gemma Page's infectious laugh as she played Adele, the young mum struggling with the demands of motherhood and work, was unintentional; so realistic was the giggling. Gemma played all her characters with bucketfuls of energy, the lighter touch worked well alongside the other characters.

Congratulations to the two directors, Nick Fletcher and Jules Jones, for shaping these actors so well to provide a very entertaining evening. Jules in particular is to be commended for her work with the Shakers' girls, some of whom have had little experience working in the theatre: an absolute triumph!

 

Review by Trish Burgess

 

A double-bill at Spalding's South Holland Centre this week is one not to miss. Local amateur group, St Nicolas Players, have brought the 1980s back to life with Bouncers by John Godber andShakers Re-stirred by John Godber and Jane Thornton.

I first saw Bouncers many years ago when the Hull Truck Theatre company was touring with this iconic play about four doormen policing a seedy club, Mr Cinders. St Nics version of the play had the same pace and energy, the four actors switching between a whole myriad of characters: the lads out on the pull, the girls desperate to be noticed, the Hooray Henrys knocking back the champagne. As drink takes a hold, facades peel away to reveal inadequacies, aggression, sadness and, ultimately, violence.

Lucky Eric, played with great skill by Tom Millard, punctuated the events of the evening with his speeches which highlighted the tawdry, grubby underside of life as seen by a bouncer. Judd (Rob Nicholls) was picked on by his colleagues for being a brute with no brain; as a woman he was the sad, sweating friend who was aching to be noticed and loved. Troy Melvin, playing Ralph, the lynch pin of the four bouncers, also shone as the cheesy, oily DJ in the club. Rob Callaby moved effortlessly between his different aliases and made a very believable young girl, clutching her handbag for comfort as the events of the night unfolded.

After the interval, the scene changed to a trendy cocktail bar for Shakers. Written to be played out at a slightly less frenetic pace than Bouncers, this comedy allows for more pathos and character development. The four actresses excelled at moving the audience with their delivery: measured, unhurried, breathtaking. It was difficult to believe this was the second night of a four night run rather than a performance that has been touring for m onths: these four girls were completely in tune with one another.

Carol, the more mature, educated waitress longing to be a photographer, was played so naturally by Jane Webb that the script just seemed like normal conversation; superb, believable acting. Acid-tongued Mel (Suzanne Webb) kept up the facade until just at the end when her soliloquy held the audience spell-bound. Suzanne and Jane, I have to say, made remarkably good men, sitting astride the bar-stools, braying and guffawing very reminiscent of French and Saunders. 

Amanda Fisher was a warm, engaging Nicky, about to embark on a career as a dancer on a rather dubious-sounding cruise ship. She also played the young Liverpudlian checkout girl, queuing up to try clothes on in Top Shop for her 21st birthday party celebrations, with great humour and wit. 

I was convinced at one point that Gemma Page's infectious laugh as she played Adele, the young mum struggling with the demands of motherhood and work, was unintentional; so realistic was the giggling. Gemma played all her characters with bucketfuls of energy, the lighter touch worked well alongside the other characters.

Congratulations to the two directors, Nick Fletcher and Jules Jones, for shaping these actors so well to provide a very entertaining evening. Jules in particular is to be commended for her work with the Shakers' girls, some of whom have had little experience working in the theatre: an absolute triumph!

 

 

 

St. Nicolas Players triumph again with John Godber and Jane Thornton’s plays ‘Bouncers’ and ‘Shakers’. These recent productions at the South Holland Centre, were not only very well acted but literally throbbed with energy.

 

Tom Millard, Rob Nicholls, Troy Melvin and Rob Callaby, the cast of ‘Bouncers’ switched seamlessly from their roles as club bouncers, to lads on the make and even giggly girls  portraying the youth of the day preparing for the big night out. Outrageous, hilarious, even a little sinister but that is how it was and probably is still.

 

Suzanne Webb, Jane Webb, Gemma Page and Amanda Fisher, the cast of ‘Shakers, between them embodied all the confusion, optimism and disillusionment experienced in people’s lives, as they coped with the demands of unreasonable customers in the ‘would be’ trendy cocktail bar where they were employed. They changed characters effortlessly. Humour there was in abundance but for me the sincerity of the monologues, where poignant aspects of each waitress’s life were poured out, were very moving.

 

A great team effort from everyone, actors, directors, producers and all stage staff but this is what we have come to expect from this talented group.

 

Make a diary note for 23rd to 26th March, 2011 when St Nics will present ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the South Holland Centre. Will it be different?  You bet your life it will be!

Review by George Ogden for The Spalding Guardian

 

 

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